Lowe’s US high jump record sets championships alight

Chicago: Chaunte Lowe smashed her US women’s high jump record to spark a chain of season-best marks at the American championships in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday.

Lowe, formerly Chaunte Howard, cleared 2.05 metres on her third attempt to add a centimetre to her month-old US record.

“I didn’t expect the 2.04 (in Germany) and the 2.05 was just icing on the cake,” the 26-year-old world indoor bronze medallist told reporters after setting the world’s best mark for the season.

“And to break the American record at home, that’s what anyone can dream of.”

Four other season-bests were set on a hot afternoon and hometown favourite Lolo Jones won the women’s 100 metres hurdles.

But injured world champion Sanya Richards-Ross withdrew from the women’s 400 and former Olympic and world gold medallist Jeremy Wariner crashed to the track in the men’s 400 final.

“He is OK,” Wariner’s agent Deon Minor told Reuters via telephone. “He just felt a cramp.”

That cleared the path for veteran Greg Nixon to win the race in a world-leading 44.61 seconds.

World indoor champion Debbie Dunn topped the women’s field, winning in 49.64 seconds to become the first female to run under 50 seconds this season.

Olympic bronze medallist Bershawn Jackson also showed top form, claiming the fastest 400 metres hurdles of the season in 47.32 seconds. Collegian Johnny Dutch took second in 47.63, the number two time this year.

Beijing Games silver medallist Hyleas Fountain dominated the heptathlon, scoring 6,735 points, another season best.

Hurdler Jones might have added a sixth mark but for a testy headwind. Her winning time of 12.69 seconds was off her season’s best of 12.55.

“Anytime you win, it’s great,” said Jones, who grew up in Des Moines. “But the fact that it was in my hometown, in my back yard, I was able to handle the stress ... I am really proud.”

The four-day meeting ends on Sunday.

Bureau Report

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